The group of Hauke Busch & Melanie Börries focuses on the development and verification of mathematical models for cellular behavior from an initial stimulus to the final phenotype.
In a systems biology approach we combine experimental research on cell-cell communication with the development of appropriate multi-scale dynamic models to investigate the necessary and sufficient control points that lead to cell proliferation, differentiation, migration or death.
We adapt concepts from non-linear dynamics and complex systems to develop appropriate dynamic models unraveling self-organizing properties in cellular behavior. Such behavior in a multicellular environment is most likely the results of time-sequential events, involving protein signaling and gene regulation in feedback-entangled processes lasting several hours.
Systems theory suggests that the slowest evolving variables determine the long term outcome of a system.
In a biological context, it is thus the change in gene expression that reflects the macroscopic decision of a cell.
Formalizing these ideas in a dynamic modeling approach, we will use abstract neural network approaches to reconstruct the dynamic control logic of cellular decision processes based on gene expression kinetics. Time-resolved experimental data will be recorded in our lab under well defined cell culture and context-dependent conditions. Data will be collected on the cell population level using DNA microarrays and RT-PCR as well as on the single cell level by time-lapse microscopy.
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